Tag Archive | "pumas"

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Revs Start SuperLiga Off On Right Foot

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution kicked off their 2010 Superliga campaign with a somewhat sloppy win over Mexican side Pumas UNAM in front of a relatively small crowd at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night.

A threatening weather forecast combined with a weeknight fixture may have kept some fans at home, but both sides were well represented and in good voice as the rain held off for what turned out to be a very scrappy contest.

Given the Revs’ tight schedule (4 games in 10 days), Steve Nicol altered his starting line up from the squad that defeated the LA Galaxy last Saturday night. Kenny Mansally got the start at left midfield, Kheli Dube started at forward along side Zack Schilawski, and Marko Perovic, who scored the game winner against LA last Saturday switched from his favored left side to the right side. Sainey Nyassi, who also scored for the Revs in his last outing, started on the bench.

The Revs were under pressure in the early minutes of the game, with Francisco Palencia pulling away from Revs defender Emmanuel Osei, but his low driven effort barely tested New England backup keeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, who got the start instead of veteran Matt Reis.

However Pumas continued to apply pressure in the midfield, forcing Revs midfielder Joseph Niouky to commit three fouls in the first 8 minutes. However Pumas struggled in the first half to complete their passes and maintain possession. New England however settled into a solid defensive shape and were able to diffuse the Pumas attack, while managing to keep a fair bit of possession.

Zack Schilawski opened the scoring with a brilliant touch in the 18th minute as the rookie found himself in the perfect position to bury Marko Perovic’s corner kick at the back post. Perovic’s corner kick in the 17th minute came up a bit short, but bounced favorably to Mansally who lined up a shot that was deflected off of a Pumas player, and Pumas keeper was unable to keep it in. Perovic, who specializes in delivering set pieces, sized up his second effort perfectly and delivered a bending cross right to the far post where Schikawski neatly finished.

At the start of the second half, Revs made one substitution bringing on Sainey Nyassi for Kenny Mansally, who had shown some nice touches but struggled to keep possession and also received a yellow card for a reckless challenge. Pumas also made a change bringing on Martin Bravo to replace Jehu Chiapas, seemingly in an attempt to bolster their attack.

The move seemed to pay off for Pumas, as they started their second half with renewed pressure in the Revolution’s half. In the 52nd minute, Pumas appeared to had equalized off of a brilliant header from Pumas’ Bravo, who had found space on the far post to nod home the cross, but the linesman waved the offside flag and the goal was disallowed.

Pumas remained on the attack with multiple chances, almost drawing level in the 71st minute with a header in the box from an unmarked Marco Palacios that missed over the bar.  Bravo, who had been finding plenty of space on the wing,  almost immediately followed up with his own low driven effort in the 73rd, but missed wide.  Finally, in the 89th minute, Israel Castro let a shot fly from well outside the box that froze Revs’ keeper Shuttleworth as well as the crowd, as the ball was deflected off of Shalrie Joseph, bounced off the cross bar straight down, and managed to stay out of the goal long enough for Shuttleworth to gobble it up.

The Revolution were on their back heels for most of the second half with few chances presenting themselves. Sainey Nyassi did well on a number of occasions to get wide on the right flank, but repeatedly could not connect with either the goal or his teammates. Perovic, Niouky, and also all registered shots to no avail.

With pressure mounting, Steve Nicol opted for a more defensive approach, and substituted Pat Phelan in for Joseph Niouky, whose continued reckless play earned him a yellow card. Nicol then substituted left sided defender Seth Sinovic on for Perovic, sliding Chris Tierney from left back into his more comfortable position on the left side of the midfield.

While Sinovic displayed the kind of form that has won him early praise as a standout rookie, Phelan struggled to find any rhythm in the midfield, and at one point elbowed his teammate Schilawski in the head while contesting a ball in the air. Schilawski was able to finish the match however, and despite the constant pressure from Pumas, the Revolution were able to preserve the win.

The Revs continue with SuperLiga 2010 when they travel to Chicago and take on their hated rivals the Chicago Fire this Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m. ET.

SuperLiga is a tournament between four teams from the Mexican Primera league and four teams from MLS. The Revolution, who qualified for the tournament by virtue of finishing 7th in the league overall last season, are the only MLS side to have won the SuperLiga trophy, having defeated their MLS Cup nemesis, the Houston Dynamo, in a shootout victory in 2008. New England has appeared in every Superliga event since its inception except for the inaugural invitational tournament in 2007.

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The Corner Stoehr: Somerville Blues Cured?

Posted on 29 June 2010 by sstoehrst

Recently, Revolution COO Brian Bilello volunteered to stand before the firing squad and take questions from fans in New England.  Apparently the response was pretty good and Mr. Bilello took the time to answer several of the most popular and pressing questions on the Revs’ blog.  You can read all of his responses here.

Although he addressed public transportation, attendance, SuperLiga, new crest/rebranding, and media coverage, I want to give some attention to an issue he touched on that I’ve covered before: the Somerville soccer-specific stadium. After rehashing the typical party dogma about how the stadium remains a top priority for the Revs organization (funded by an ownership group whose sole goal in life right now is to recoup money they invested in Patriot Place), Mr. Bilello looked to be patronizing Revs fans yet again.

Then Brian starts to get specific. I have to say; I appreciate how he immediately addressed the Somerville location rather than hitting us with the typical “we’re examining all options” line:

With the decision regarding the MBTA’s Green Line maintenance facility in Somerville in place, we have re-launched the process of examining that area as a stadium site. We were in a holding pattern for a bit while the city and MBTA worked out the details of the facility. During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium on that site given the footprint of the maintenance facility and other existing structures.

Finally, a reason why we stopped talking to Somerville in the first place. It would seem that the MBTA rail yard was still a problem after all – and now that it’s been dealt with, the Revs can move in and start getting the concrete details sorted. But the fabulous Mr. Bilello was far from finished. He then hit us with this gem:

In the last few months, we have also begun studying three additional sites around Boston’s metro core. These sites may not have been available to us in the past, but have recently shown potential interest in having our stadium.

Immediately I began racking my brain for metro-area locations that might be available for development, and to be honest not a lot comes to mind.  Then again, my knowledge of the Boston area is really restricted to the city itself,  so I’ll trust better Beantown minds than mine to make the educated guesses.  But the idea that there are other locations courting the Revolution is very encouraging and says a lot about the grassroots support in the region.  Honestly, I will remain skeptical until I see some kind of concrete move or result, be that a formal proposal or a shovel breaking ground. Having said that, and despite my better judgment, Mr. Bilello’s revelations have stirred an excitement in me, an expectation that I might actually see a soccer-specific stadium in New England within the next decade.

For once, he’s done what a lot of us have been calling for: answered questions directly and with specific examples.  Also, almost as if to placate us into accepting that the Krafts care about the Revolution and are investing in them fully, Brian admitted that the organization had put “more than $1 million” into exploring new options for a soccer-specific stadium.  Well, Mr. Bilello, that’s certainly commitment.  Here’s to the next million going to a construction company instead.

Excited by Mr. Bilello’s responses, or taking it all with a grain of salt? And do YOU know where else they might be looking? Leave a comment!

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